There’s nothing quite like an original photo, captured beautifully and specifically for a purpose. We also like to style photographic images to suit a brand, so that we can build a styled portfolio of imagery for each business. That’s the ideal. But sometimes we just want an image, quickly and low budget, and then ‘stock’ comes into the equation. Stock imagery can often be generic, posed, predictable but it can be a very useful support. When you find good stock that not only fits a purpose, but does so stylishly, its always a bonus.
Used to looking at Instagram feeds and Pinterest boards, we’re bombarded with a broad range of imagery, amateur and professional. Our visual perceptions and preferences are ever-changing, morphed somewhat by these and more. I quite like the randomness of ‘amatuer’ on-the-moment photos, less predictable, un-posed, angles a little skewed, but if this can be captured beautifully, professionally, all the better, hence the satisfaction of finding a good stock site for the lesser budget projects.
Coupled with photography, is the broad range of vector imagery which is also growing and improving. Having a few of these within easy access can be handy too – a bit like having an extra set of colouring pencils at the back of the drawer. I’m going to add to this list as I see them, but for now here’s a few lesser known stock reference sites:
Unsplash Slick spaces and hipster types. Beautiful shots, great gallery, less applicable for clients work I think… but wouldn’t rule out. 10 new images per day.
Death to the Stock Photo: Name says it all really… free imagery selection, or sign up for more selections
Gratisography: Good shots. Good Looking site too
Pixabay: Just login and browse
Morguefile: free post- production reference images, whether you’re an illustrator, art director, instructor or looking to add a defining visual to a presentation.
Magdeleine: free new image each day – broad range of subjects – early days still
Photo Pin: Goody for bloggers
DealJumbo We got a nice little retro pack here, photos too, some free, some bundle packs
Canva: includes both premium and free stock photos for members (Angie says Hi!)